After seeing the success of Prototype A and then butchering it, I was left in a creative lull with no more laptops to disassemble, but also with a great idea having been confirmed at least in concept. After mulling over where to take my idea next, I started brainstorming for sources of laptops and even considered buying some at a low cost. Being that my company (MicroBytes.com) only sells new laptops and are very strict about taking recycled components, that option was out of the question. However a friend of mine had told me about 2 used computer shops in Montreal (PCDepotLiquidation.com and EncanDepot.com), and I had been to both a few times; my first computer hardware purchases ever had actually been made there. Their stock is quite extensive and also completely listed on their website; matter of fact, I regularly recommend to my clients that they go there when looking for obsolete computer parts that we don’t carry. Lo and behold, they sold a relatively powerful Lenovo T60 14” laptop without battery for $79 or $91 with tax.
My plan was to negotiate a bulk order to try to bring down costs, and also ask to take externally damaged but functional models off their hands at a rebate (the motherboard and screen are taken out of the case anyway, so the case’s condition is irrelevant). After a few fruitless emails inquiring about the detailed specs, I decided to look on eBay for cheaper and better suited alternatives. After obsessing over auctions for a few days, I found a lot of 3 Lenovo T61p for $275 plus ridiculous amounts of shipping from Florida (http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Lot-of-3-IBM-ThinkPad-T61p-Laptop-Core-2-Duo-2-40GHz-2GB-RAM-80GB-HDD-/231247965404). Doing the math, each unit cost roughly $125 shipped. The specs are as follows:
- 15.6” 1920 x 1200 LCD
- Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
- 2 GB DDR2 RAM
- 80 GB SATA HDD
- Nvidia Quadro FX 570M
The listing also had an option to make an offer, but after 3 successively higher lowball offers having been automatically refused, eBay blocked me from making any more. Now I could either look for another listing, buy it at the advertised price, or contact the seller to negotiate. I chose the latter and offered him $240 US, which he gladly accepted. Factoring in the shipping and currency conversion, each unit came out to $106 CAD. These were significantly better in specs plus 15.4” full HD displays for only $20 more, whereas those at Encan Depot had 14.1” 1024×768 displays; for a picture frame, the screen is everything.
I also discussed with a friend the option of shipping to a US mailbox address to save about $40 on shipping and import duties, but ended up shipping to my house for both speed and convenience. I ordered the lot from eBay on June 4th at midnight, and got notified that it shipped on June 7th; the estimated delivery date is on or before June 18th. Honestly I’m so excited for it to arrive, and will be documenting the entire process from unboxing to framing. Stay tuned to my blog for this, and also expect to see a full “Lenovo T6x laptop digital photo frame tutorial”, plus a time-lapse video of the entire building process (photo and video will be shot on my Canon 60D DSLR).